Through much of our past, storie--including myths, historical accounts, poetry, and what is now defined as great literature, even joke--have been narrated, something to hear, rather than read. In this exhibition of contemporary art, the form tales take and the way they are expressed is examined, pulled apart and rejigged, engaging traditional conventions of storytelling as well as nonlinear forms of communication.

The resulting artworks explore different types of storytelling. Certain works, such as two new video projections by London-based artist Wyn Geleynse, feature diaristic, almost confessional tales. In his works, individuals recount experiences which may or may not be true. In Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s Drea--Telephone series, visitors can lift the receivers from a collection of vintage telephones to hear a voice recounting strange dreams, while in these situations one listens to (or perhaps eavesdrops on) another person. In Jillian MacDonald’s web-based project Horror Story, the public can submit their tales to an interactive internet collection.

A set of photographs by Kelly Richardson explores cinematic establishing shots, eschewing the spoken or printed word to assert an ambiance by visuals alone. The potential of visual art to imaginatively embellish the experience of a book can be seen in the tradition of illustration, especially to heighten fantastic plots. Here the content and approach of several Canadian artists continues or queries such forms.